Rage rests within the heart of all people, but for some, it’s like some barely contained beast ready to tear its way out. For many, this frenzy allows them to face even the most dangerous of foes and survive. Their innate ability to hold on to this energy and ride it through the waves of battle has made them a feared and respected force. Yet some descend even deeper in this berserk state, harnessing it as often as they can, fighting on without care for themselves and showing no mercy to those in their paths. These are the berserkers.
The berserker is an archetype of the beastmaster class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Berserkers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor but no shields.
Limit Break (Su)
At 1st level, the berserker receives the Limit Break (The Unstoppable Force).
The Unstoppable Force (Su): This Limit Break imbues the berserker with phenomenal strength and destructive power. For the duration of 1 round + 1 round per four berserker levels after 1st, all bonuses from rage, frenzy, and from any berserk abilities are doubled. After the frenzy ends, all penalties and temporary ability damage are also doubled as well as nonlethal damage. This limit break requires only a swift action.
This ability replaces the beastmaster’s standard Limit Breaks.
A berserker can enter a frenzy during combat. While frenzied, he gains a +6 bonus to Strength and, if he makes a full attack action, gains a single extra attack each round at his highest bonus. (This latter effect is not cumulative with haste or other effects that grant additional attacks.) However, he also takes a –4 penalty to Armor Class and takes 2 points of nonlethal damage per round. Starting at 1st level, a berserker can frenzy for a number of rounds per day equal to 2 + his Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, he can frenzy for 2 additional rounds. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as that gained from dwarf’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that a berserker can frenzy per day. The total number of rounds of frenzy per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours need not be consecutive.
To end the frenzy, the character may attempt a DC 15 Will save once per round as a free action. Success ends the frenzy immediately; failure means it continues. A berserker can enter a frenzy as a free action. Even though this takes no time, he can do it only during her turn, not in response to another’s action. In addition, if he takes damage from an attack, spell, trap, or any other source, he automatically enters a frenzy at the start of his next action, as long as he still has at least one round of usage of the ability left. To avoid entering a frenzy in response to a provoking effect, the character must make a successful Will save (DC 10 + points of damage taken since his last action) at the start of his next turn. While frenzied, the character cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration. During a frenzy, the berserker must attack those he perceives as foes to the best of his ability. Should he run out of enemies before his frenzy expires, his rampage continues. He must then attack the nearest creature (determine randomly if several potential foes are equidistant) and fight that opponent without regard to friendship, innocence, or health (the target’s or his own).
When a frenzy ends, the berserker is fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity, unable to charge or run) for 1 minute. A berserker can’t enter a new frenzy while fatigued or exhausted, but can otherwise enter a frenzy multiple times per day. If a berserker falls unconscious, his frenzy immediately ends. If the character is still under the effect of a rage ability, the fatigued condition does not apply until the rage ends—at which point the character is exhausted, not merely fatigued.
This replaces the animal companion and wild empathy abilities.
Berserkers learn to harness their frenzy to be become unstoppable killing machines. At 2nd level and every two levels thereafter, the berserker may choose to learn one of the following special abilities below or a rage power taken from the beastmaster’s rage power list.
Burst of Speed (Ex): When charging, the berserker can move an additional +5 feet (1 square) for every level of berserker. For each additional 5 feet a berserker moves while charging, he adds an additional +2 on the damage roll of his first attack if it is successful. Each time a berserker uses burst of speed, he suffers 1d4 points of Dexterity damage. The damage only takes effect once frenzy has ended.
Fury (Ex): Now the embodiment of unfettered frenzy, the berserker can lay to waste anything around. While frenzying, and only while frenzying, the berserker can attack anything close to him. This ability functions the same as the Whirlwind Attack feat, but with the following exceptions. Each time a berserker uses fury, he suffers 1d4 points of Constitution damage. This damage only takes effect once the frenzy has ended.
Rancor (Ex): A berserker is in a constant state of readiness, able to burst into a bloody frenzy at a moment’s notice. The rancor ability further extends the power of the normal frenzy ability. A berserker with rancor who frenzies gains one additional attack per round and an additional +2 bonus to Strength. The additional attack is at the berserker’s base attack bonus -5. The berserker also suffers an additional -4 penalty to AC on top of that already in place due to the normal use of frenzy. A berserker has no choice in using rancor. If the berserker frenzies, this special ability automatically comes into effect.
Righteous Wrath (Ex): Though rare, there are heroic berserkers who utilize their fury to further their desire to do what is good and just. When entering a frenzy, the berserker’s sense of goodness overcomes the mindless desire for death and destruction, allowing them to discern friend from foe, and refuse to attack those they perceive as allies while in a frenzy. They are also able to willingly deal nonlethal damage, show mercy by ceasing their attacks, and willingly fail saving throws and suppress spell resistance from spells or other abilities used upon them by allies. Prerequisite: Any good alignment; shifting to a non-good alignment removes this ability, replacing it with another berserk or rage power, and you may never select it again, even if you return to a good alignment.
Ronso’s Grip (Ex): The berserker has learned how to wield larger weapons in a single hand. He can wield two-handed melee weapons as if they were one-handed melee weapons, and wield one-handed melee weapons as if they were light weapons.
Surge (Ex): The berserker’s ability to wade headfirst into combat reaches new levels of destruction and mayhem. As a full attack action, the berserker must move in a straight line at his full movement, attacking anything within reach (friend or foe) along that path. During a surge, he must attack up to a number of targets equal to his beastmaster level. He may not attack a target more than once during a surge. Each time a berserker uses surge, he suffers 1d4 points of Strength damage. This damage only takes effect once the frenzy has ended.
At 6th level and above, a berserker is such a tenacious combatant that he continues to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying, ignoring the staggered condition.
This ability replaces empathic link, nature sense, woodland stride, speak with animals, and trackless step abilities.
Deathless Frenzy (Ex)
At 10th level and higher, a berserker can scorn death and unconsciousness while in a frenzy. As long as his frenzy continues, even if he would be rendered unconscious from nonlethal damage or reduced to –10 hit points or less, he continues to fight normally until his frenzy ends. At that point, the effects of his wounds apply normally if they have not been healed. This ability does not prevent death from massive damage or from spell effects.
This ability replaces beast shape.
Greater Frenzy (Ex)
Starting at 11th level, when a berserker enters frenzy, the bonus to his Strength increases to +8. The AC penalty decreases to -3.
This ability replaces improved empathic link.
An 18th-level berserker no longer becomes fatigued after a frenzy or a rage, though he still takes the nonlethal damage from frenzy for each round it lasts.
This ability replaces tireless rage.
Mighty Frenzy (Ex)
At 20th level, when a berserker enters frenzy, the bonus to his Strength increases to +10. The AC penalty decreases to -2.
This ability replaces animal majesty.